Friday, October 24, 2003

Occurred to me again last night.

Although he didn't set the world on fire last night, is there a more exciting ball player to watch at bat or running the bases than Juan Pierre?

So, John, how did that military wedding you mentioned last week go?

It went very well, actually. Thanks for asking. All mess dress and dress blues. Very impressive. I only played at the end for the recessional. "Scotland the Brave*" as the bridal party and the congregation exited, the groomsmen - Marine officers all - formed up at the steps of the church to form the arch with drawn swords. As the bride and groom exited last of all I broke into the Marine's Hymn. I'll tell ya, it made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Nobody does ceremony like the United States Marine Corps.

[*Just between you and me, after about 4 times through on Scotland the Brave, I started trading off among STB and a few other 4/4's. "Rowan Tree", of course, and then "Let Erin Remember" and "Rising of the Moon" and a couple of others. But it was mostly STB.]

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Tradition Takes Another Hit

Scotland's hopes of progressing in the World [Rugby] Cup have been hit by bans to several key players - their bagpipers.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Next time you're at a Highland Games in Australia

. . . .you might like to take in an exhibition of Highland dancing featuring the famous yardstick dance wherein the dancer performs over crossed yardsticks. You may have been expecting the sword dance but you'll be out of luck if the powers-that-be in Victoria have their way. None of those nasty, dangerous swords will be permitted. At least not without a $135 license and a safe bolted to the floor for storing it.

Strange place, Victoria. (As we already knew when they dismantled the Grade I Victoria Police Pipe Band shortly after they won the World Championship.)

Sunday, October 19, 2003

More Bad News: Just in Time for Veteran's Day

This via Jerry Pournelle (it's the last note under the "Friday" heading):

FORT STEWART, Ga., Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Hundreds of sick and wounded U.S. soldiers including many who served in the Iraq war are languishing in hot cement barracks here while they wait -- sometimes for months -- to see doctors.

Full article here.


Terri Schiavo has now been denied Holy Communion in her death agony.

Some bloggers notes on it here and here. There are some others that I didn't stop to record.

Is it the end of the world yet?

Saturday, October 18, 2003

Decisions, Decisions

After grousing to my wife for two days that I am utterly uninterested in the world series and couldn't be bothered watching, it is now coming home to me that it is, after all, the World Series we're talking about here. It's America. It's tradition. It behooves me to scrounge up some interest here, not to say some motivation.

In overcoming a large case of "don't care" this is what I've come up with:

The Yankees. When you need someone to root against, the Yankees always seem to be there, bless them, to supply the need. This can supply the emotional trigger. Always providing they lose as required. If they don't lose, it can backfire on you.

The Marlins. Not much here to fire one up. But wait. In The Times this morning I read this:

Finally, for the Marlins to win this championship, somebody also has to get McKeon to the church on time.

He is one of the few people in sports who claims to attend daily Mass, and actually does.

On his office wall is a picture of St. Theresa of Lisieux. He prays in the car, prays in the dugout, praying for hits and runs and lost souls.

As a baseball writer covering McKeon's wild San Diego Padres two decades ago, I remember strolling into the team hotel around dawn, just as McKeon was leaving for morning Mass.

"You really do go to church every day," I said.

"Somebody's got to pray for you guys," he said.

When we later engaged in a theological discussion based on my discovery of his devotion, he said he felt there was only one true religious mystery.

"I've been reading all these letters from Paul to the Corinthians," he said. "Don't the Corinthians ever write back?"

O.K. That - in addition to the fact that my great-grandfather was a Jack McKeon born in Armagh - will do for starters. (The whole article is here. If you want to read it, don't dawdle. The Times puts these things in the archive after a week and it will cost you to retreive it. As it is, you have to register.)

At the moment I need to turn off the Notre Dame/USC game, wherein Notre Dame is somewhere in the second quarter and behind USC 21-14 which is not as hoped and expected, and put on my best bib and tucker to go play for a wedding in Redondo Beach. It's a military wedding, Marine officers with drawn swords forming an archway. Should be fun.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Clear Creek

Memo to Self: The links on my "Favorites" list is not the same as the list of links to the left on the blogroll.

The link to the Monastery of Our Lady of the Annunciation of Clear Creek, Oklahoma is another of those which I have long thought was on my blogroll but isn't. Or "wasn't", as I have now added it. This is the only Benedictine foundation in the United States using the traditional liturgy. The only authorized one, anyway. It is a daughter foundation of Fontgombault in France, itself a foundation of Dom Gueranger's Solesmes Monastery.

Clear Creek Monastery was founded in the year 2000 with 12 monks. There are now 21 with 6 more waiting for admission. They will shortly be out of room.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Feel Free to Ignore Everything Else on the Blog Today

Instead, read this.

Pray a rosary.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

St. Teresa of Avila

Dona Teresa Sanchez d'Avila Cepeda y Ahumada left her Carmelite monastery of the Incarnation in Avila, changed her name to Teresa of Jesus, and founded the new reformed Carmelite monastery of St. Joseph on 24 August 1562. From this small beginnig sprang the Discalced Carmelite Order.

And today, 15 October, is her feast day. An essay on her life can be found here. The full text of her autobiography in the David Lewis translation can be found here. Her first treatise on prayer, The Way of Perfection, can be found here in the E. Allison Peers translation.

There is an outstanding collection of photos of Avila here. Unfortunately, the photographer doesn't tell us what a single one of these images is. I recognze some of them - the city walls, for instance - from other pictures but most are a beautiful mystery.


If this weren't bad enough, it had to be followed by this.

"Dear Lord, no wonder You have so few friends; look how You treat them."
-- St. Teresa of Avila (after the cart in which she was riding took a nasty spill while crossing a stream.)

[This blog operates under the assumption that support of the Yankees, while not yet enacted into canon law, is, in the eyes of all respectable moralists, synonymous with moral laxity.]

More Traditional Liturgy

The Opus Mariae Mediatricis website has some interesting streaming video of various ceremonies in the traditional Roman rite. The latest to be posted is of the traditional Mass celebrated in the crypt at St. Peter's in Rome last Saturday. This is one of the very few that have been permitted by the sacristans at St. Peter's who obstruct its celebration at every turn, no matter that the Holy Father has authorized its celebration. If you have a spare three and a quarter hours or so, you can even view an ordination to the priesthood in the traditional rite for the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter celebrated last June in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Cardinal George Backs Traditional Liturgy

Francis Cardinal George of Chicago has given his clear support for the use of the Tridentine-rite liturgy.

In a preface written for a collection produced by the International Committee for Liturgical Studies (CIEL), Cardinal George has referred to the Missal of St. Pius V as "a precious source of liturgical understanding for all other rites," and said that the pre-conciliar liturgy should be "better accepted." The work by CIEL, a Versailles-based organization faithful to the traditional liturgy, was published in France.

The entire article is here.

Thursday, October 09, 2003


Today is the anniversary of the death of Robert Grosseteste who was chancellor of Oxford, head of Greyfriars College and Bishop of Lincoln. Bishop Grosseteste was one of the most learned men of the 13th century and is considered "the first mathematician and physicist of his age." More to the point for this notice he was also noted for his great holiness. After his death there were reported miracles at his tomb, pilgrimages were made, and a successor of his as bishop of Lincoln granted indulgences to such pilgrims. His cause for canonisation was introduced more than once, although nothing ever came of that.

Some have considered him something of a prototype of what traditionalists of our day should be as he was a great reformer in his diocese, fighting not only home-grown abuses but also those which came from the Rome of his day. One of his principal aims was to ensure that his clergy were well-educated, living upright lives, and that they should be living amongst and ministering to their people. The great abuse of the day was the practice of appointing clergy to offices for which they received the income but for which they did not do the work. By a special papal privilege he was eventually able to secure an exception to this practice for his own diocese. But even then exceptions were made to the exception. A papal nephew was appointed to a vacant canonry at Lincoln and Grosseteste refused to allow the nephew to be appointed to the benefice. In the course of a visit to Pope Innocent IV, he laid before the pope a document in which he outlined and explained his belief that most of the evils of the Church were owing to "the malignant influence of the curia." This won him no friends in Rome.

At the same time he was resisting the corruption of the curia, he was resisting the encroachments upon the Church of the secular power in the person of King Henry III.

Never disloyal to the king and always faithful to the supremacy of the pope, Robert Grosseteste insisted that the king could not command obedience in areas that were the provenance of the Church and the pope could not command obedience in areas "not consonant with the teaching of Christ and the Apostles."

The Catholic Encyclopedia article on Bishop Grosseteste will repay reading.

More Cubs

From the man with the black hat we have The Dying Cub Fan's Last Request. Take a look; there won't be a dry eye in the house.

9 October is the fourth day in the Novena to St. Teresa of Avila.
Many are praying it, using these or other prayers, for Terri Schiavo.

Arnold Will Fix It All For Us

"It" being an $8 billion budget deficit, $400, 000 median home prices, the California bond rating being 2 steps away from junk status, and. . . well that should be enough to start with.

And he will fix all this even though he is the only state-wide elected official who is not a Democrat. The controller, the secretary of state, the lieutenant governor, all of them, they're all Democrats. The Democrats have a majority in both the Assembly and the Senate. There is no realistic possibility of them losing that majority either, thanks to the last bout of redistricting and the lax, not to say non-existent, control over illegal voting.

But Arnold, with his vast experience in economics and politics will get everything ship-shape in no time. Then he can get on to the really important things like promoting human cloning which, according to himself, "only religious fanatics" oppose.

Newspaper Commits Error!

No, really. Yesterday it was the Cubs who were on the local Fox station and the Red Sox who were relegated to the "loser cable station called FX". This report in "the best of the traditional Catholic blogs"* was in error, having relied on the local newspaper's television reportage which put the Cubs on the cable station. [It is, of course, remotely possible, very remotely, that I read the article incorrectly. But the possibility is so very remote that we will not do any time-wasting checks on back issues but assume, as is only reasonable, that the press was once again in error. Yes, indeed.]

Be all that as it may, the fact remains that both play off games were scheduled for exactly the same time. Some person or persons unknown in Major League Baseball needs to learn a bit about scheduling. I think Microsoft makes a programme for that.

[*Thanks Michelle for the lovely compliment.]

Idiotic Worker's Comp Claim Not Made in California

Hard to believe, I know, but this one is Missouri's problem. Seems this fellow walked into his place of employment with a Glock semiautomatic and started firing on his fellow employees, killing two of them and eventually himself into the bargain.

Now the shooter's mother has filed for worker's compensation survivor's benefits. Well, he died on the job didn't he? Stands to reason.


Wednesday, October 08, 2003

More Baseball

Some of us were talking about why anyone would be a baseball fan at all these days: the greed, the stratospheric salaries, trades made so often you don't know who plays for whom. A correspondent - an intense movie fan - reminds me of that speech at the end of Field of Dreams. Oh, yeah. That's a good 'un. There's a germ of a reason here. Herewith:

Ray, people will come Ray. They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't
even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why
they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children,
longing for the past. Of course, we won't mind if you look around,
you'll say. It's only $20 per person. They'll pass over the money
without even thinking about it: for it's money they have and peace they
lack. And they'll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a
perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along
one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered
their heroes. And they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they
dipped themselves in magic waters. And the memories will be so thick
they'll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray.
The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America
has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a
blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time.
This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of
all that once was good and it could be again. Oh,.. people will come
Ray. People will most definitely come.


It had sort of registered in what passes for my mind that there was probably going to be some kind of overlap in the American League and National League playoffs. I wasn't planning very far ahead; sufficient unto the day is the playoff thereof. So it was only this morning when I actually looked up the game times that the penny dropped: the powers that be in Major League Baseball have actually scheduled the two play off games today for exactly the same time. No, really. You could look it up. And the Cubs game has been shuffled off to some loser cable station called "FX".

This is where a greater facility for invective, saracasm, irony, and just general insult would come in really handy. As it is, I'm just at a loss for words.

Serendipity: Found While Looking for Something Else

And I wasn't even web-surfing. The Press-Telegram cited this webpage this morning: Everything Chopsticks. Now you can learn everything there is to know about chopsticks, including how to use them. There is a detailed how-to page. Impress the sox off one and all the next time you're at a Chinese or Japanese restaurant.

8 October is the third day in the Novena to St. Teresa of Avila.
Many are praying it, using these or other prayers, for Terri Schiavo.

It's not too late to start. A week of prayer is a very good thing to do.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Pipe Band of the Day

Since "who is going to Sacramento to be our new governor" has been the question of the day, I was going to reference the City of Sacramento Pipe Band here. But they're revamping the site and there isn't much there to see -- almost no photographs. So in honor of the other news item, here the Chicago Caledonian Pipe Band's website.

I probably should explain the Cubs reference below.

I haven't given up on the Angels. Or even - God help us - the Dodgers. (Except for this year. Well, I mean. There wouldn't be much point, would there?)

And I would really like to see the Red Sox go all the way with the American League title. Mark Sullivan's loyalty is infectious. I've caught some and it's not altogether curable.

But. . . .

But there is a long-standing family loyalty to the Cubs. My mother's family came from Chicago and were great fans. My first in-person major league game at age 5 was at Wrigley Field (courtesy of my grandmother). My grandfather (40 years before I was born! I swear!) was close friends with many of the players, especially Joe Tinker (of Tinker to Evers to Chance). My mother was a teenager before she realized Uncle Joe wasn't actually her uncle and was, in fact, not a relation at all.

So this year, it's going to be the Cubs. And, of course, you can get your "Dodger" fix watching the Cubs this year anyway. Grudzielanek, Karos, Dusty Baker. . . .

"I just don't want a governor whose behind I've seen."
-- J'Amy Pacheco

J'Amy Pacheco is a delightful columnist whose work appears, so far as I know, only in the Los Angeles Metropolitan News-Enterprise. (Her column isn't on-line so you'll have to take my word for the accuracy of the quotation which comprises this piece's headline.)
It appears she's seen one or more of the "Terminator" movies which, I'm told, feature the unadorned fundament of His Excellency, our new governor. Mrs. Pacheco is, obviously, a woman of great refinement and I very much agree.

Although hers is sufficient, I have other reasons also. Governor-elect Schwarzenegger is also in favour of abortion, homosexual marriage, and additional gun-control. He has assorted other perverse opinions which I am too tired to recall or research at the moment. But it matters not what I think. The electorate has spoken and this is what we've got now.

And that's why I would have preferred Bustamante to Schwarzenegger. Bustamante would have served his three years and then been subject to an election. There is the possibility of an actual moral opposition arising to oppose him in the Republican party. (Remote, I know. This is, after all, California. But possible.) Now we will have Schwarzenegger for three years. As incumbent governor he will have a lock on the nomination for the next term. The following term will then be anti-life Schwarzenegger or anti-life Democrat (TBD). So with Schwarzenegger now we are guaranteed an anti-life sleaze bag for the next 7 years. With Bustamante now, the guarantee would only have lasted for 3 years.

The vote for Tom McClintock was a good one.

And if that weren't enough the Cubs lost. As my grandma used to say, "Thank God for bad luck, or we'd have no luck at all."

7 October is the second day in the Novena to St. Teresa of Avila.
Many are praying it, using these or other prayers, for Terri Schiavo.

More Fun in California

If you're a California attorney who practices in the political area, in particular parsing the State Elections Code, you are about to hit big casino.

Just when you thought it was safe to leave the polls, political lawyers are warning of a new onslaught of lawsuits that might further delay what could already be a long vote count in today's California gubernatorial recall election. The article in American Lawyer Media's website is here.

(Is anyone surprized?)

The L.A. Times -- Wholly-owned Subsidiary of the Davis Campaign

Southern California residents are aware that the Los Angeles Times has a political mission that is certainly not limited to its editorial pages. (An example that springs to mind is the long-standing Times' policy never to refer to pro-life people as "pro-life". They must always be referred to as "anti-abortion". Pro-abortion people must never be referred to as "pro-abortion" but always as "pro-choice". It doesn't matter what you call yourself; that is what the Times will call you.)

This is bad enough. But in Los Angeles the Times is a de-facto monopoly. If you live in the valley you can pick up the Daily News. Long Beach has the Press-Telegram and the South Bay the Daily Breeze. There are others; Pasadena has the Star News, I think. (If there's a link there I was right!) But these are all very small operations in comparison with the Times. They specialize in local matters. The massive size and circulation of the Times overwhelms everything else in its path.

Now it seems the Times has gone too far. Nothing to make it collapse. But nothing to enhance its reputation either. According to the L.A. Weekly, the Times appears to have been sharing its hit pieces against "Arnold" with the Davis campaign far in advance of publication. Co-ordinating their efforts, as it were. The piece is here.

A sample:

Back to the blockbuster hit on Schwarzenegger in Thursday’s Times. According to a well-informed source at the paper, the story, which hit the political world with a thunderclap, never appeared on the paper’s internal or external publication schedules. Indeed, project editor Joel Sappell and the three reporters working on what the Times has described as a seven-week-long investigative project were very tight-lipped about both the scheduling of the piece and its contents. They discussed the story only with the paper’s senior editors. Although the story did not appear on the schedule, it was reportedly placed in the "write basket," in which other Times editors and reporters can look at upcoming pieces, after hours last Wednesday night, just a few hours before it appeared on the Times Web site.

Even with utmost secrecy surrounding the piece, senior Democratic strategists with long-standing ties to Davis knew not only when the story was coming but also the particulars of what was in it. These strategists felt that the story held the possibility of tipping the election away from Schwarzenegger and of defeating the governor’s recall.

And then there are Davis' attacks on women. That's "attacks" now; not just a pat on the bum. Hitting, throttling, shaking, and throwing ash trays at state employees. The Times has known about it and covered it up for years. Have a look at Jill Stewart's investigation.

No, I still wouldn't vote for Arnold. (And didn't.) But the Times needs to be called to account.

Our Lady of the Holy Rosary

Today is the feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in both the traditional and the new calendar. It arose out of the great victory over the Turks at the battle of Lepanto and was first named in honour of Our Lady of Victory. But since the victory was traditionally been attributed to the intercession of Our Lady brought about by praying of the Rosary, was changed to Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.

There is a little precis of the battle here. The Catholic Encyclopaedia article (from which the prior link takes some of its text) is here.

G. K. Chesterton's small epic (is that an oxymoron?) on the great battle is here. If you're short on time, skip the history and read the poem. And while you're at that wonderful site (!), follow the links at the end of the poem under the heading "7 October" for more on Our Lady's Rosary.

At each of the six apparitions at Fatima, Our Lady specifically asked for the praying of the Rosary. She stressed daily recitation:

May 13th - Say the rosary every day to obtain peace for the world.

June 13th - I want you to say the rosary every day.

July 13th - I want you to continue to say the orsary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary.

August 19th - I want you to continue the rosary every day.

Sept. 13th - Continue to say the rosary.

Oct. 13th - I want to tell you that I am the Lady of the Rosary; continue to say the rosary every day.

-from Fr. Johnson's notes in "St. Mary's Bulletin".

Monday, October 06, 2003

Terri Schiavo

Her judicial murder is still scheduled to begin on 15 October, her onomastico, the feast of St. Teresa of Avila in the old and the new calendar.

Several folks have started novenas to St. Teresa, that she intercede for her namesake. If you're going to do that too, today is the day to begin. If you need a traditional novena prayer, there is one here.

Thursday, October 02, 2003


Yep. Arkansas. Never really had a hankerin' to be in Arkansas. But this looks mighty invitin'. (Even if they don't mention pipes.)

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

1 October

This is the feast of St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face in the new calendar. (The traditional Roman Rite keeps it on 3 October.)

There are some excellent web pages devoted to her. One of the best is actually courtesy of the Franciscans. EWTN published this one several years ago for her centenary. You could spend a worthwhile hour or two exploring all the links on that page.

The Irish Discalced Carmelites devoted several pages to her at this link.

You can even visit Lisieux here.